ephemeris date magn radius delta ra dec elong phase
Nearest approach25 Jun 20188.72.274 AU1.289 AU18h05m-42°23'160.9°8.4°
Perihelion10 Aug 20189.32.210 AU1.784 AU15h00m-56°53'100.7°26.8°
Today18 Aug 20189.12.212 AU1.918 AU14h45m-57°21'92.8°27.2°
C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS) - 2018-08-18

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The interactive orbit chart above shows the comet's path through the solar system and its position at the given date. Green and blue lines are shown perpendicular to the ecliptic plane: Green if the path is above the ecliptic plane, blue if it is below. (Left-click and drag to rotate the view; Right-click and drag to move the view; Use scroll wheel to zoom in our out.)

The orbital elements of C/2016 M1 (PANSTARRS), as provided by the minor planet center, are:

            e (eccentricity)                : 0.999087
            q (perihelion distance)         : 2.210456
            i (inclination)                 : 90.9995
            Ω (Longitude of ascending node) : 92.2032
            ω (Argument of perihelion)      : 209.8270
            L (Longitude of perihelion)     : 91.6302
            B (Latitude of perihelion)      : -29.8220
            T (Time of perihelion passage)  : 2458340.6745
            P (Orbital period in years)     : > 9999.99 

            Family/Group:                   : Nearly isotropic

The lightcurve chart below shows the estimated development of the comet's magnitude. Blue and black dots are visual and photometric CCD observations respectively from COBS or the MPC Two lightcurves are shown: The gray curve is based on the absolute magnitide and slope parameter as provided by the minor planet center (5.00 + 5 log[∆] + 10.00 log[r]), whereas the red curve is being recalculated every 6 hours based on the available COBS/MPC observations (currently 3.48 + 5 log[∆] + 13.22 log[r]).

The all-sky chart below shows the path of of the comet over the same period as the lightcurve. The comet's current position is marked yellow.

The following chart show the short-term path of the comet in a field of view that is optimized for (~10x50) binoculars and finderscopes.
A more printer-friendly versions of the same chart can be found further down this page as well.

The following chart show the current location of the comet in a smaller, upside-down telescopic field of view.

A printable version of the short-term path of the comet in a field of view that is optimized for (~10x50) binoculars and finderscopes.

    delta:  distance between comet and earth in AU
    radius: distance between comet and sun in AU
    magn:   magnitude (brightness) estimate    
    ra:     right ascension in hours (24h = 360deg)
    dec:    declination in degrees
    elong:  elongation in degrees (angle sun-earth-comet)    
    phase:  phase angle in degrees (angle sun-comet-earth)        
    AU:     Astronomical Unit (mean distance between earth and sun: 149597870.7 km

Orbital elements provided by MPC (Minor Planet Center)
Observations contributed by observers worldwide, via COBS (Comet Observation Database) or the MPC (Minor Planet Center)
UCAC4 star catalog and NGC2000 dso catalog via VizieR as provided by the Strasbourg astronomical Data Center.
Calculations by a modified version of AAPlus, a C# implementation of the AA+ project by PJ Naughter from the algorithms presented in the book "Astronomical Algorithms" by Jean Meeus.